The Obama administration has urged the Supreme Court to toss out an appeals court decision that would allow lawsuits against major emitters for their contributions to global warming, stunning environmentalists who see the case as a powerful prod on climate change.
Read the whole thing. It’s hard for me to tell whether this is craven or stupid. Note that the SG didn’t have to take a position on this case. This represents the administration going above and beyond the call of duty to undermine the chances of a sensible energy policy. Yes, a comprehensive statute would be better. And you know what? It ain’t going to happen.
This isn’t about sensitive negotiations in Congress. This is purely executive decision. You don’t have to deal with Ben Nelson on this one. You don’t have to get Joe Lieberman’s vote for cloture. This was a time when the administration could signaled to its allies that it is on their side, that it will stand with them. And instead, it did just the opposite. Then it will wonder why progressives won’t show up to the polls.
What about just allowing the EPA regulatory process to go forward? The 2nd Circuit allows that. In fact, it helps that process by saying that it cannot rule on the displacement question until EPA climate change regulations are final. So if the utilities sue over those regulations, and hold them up in court, then they have to face the consequences of the common-law claim. In other words, the SG’s brief represents an invitation for the polluters to sue EPA.
What next? Bernie Madoff as the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency?
Mark, care to give us the party line on this one?